La Reserve

Oceans and Seas » Atlantic
April 7th 2022
Published: April 9th 2022
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At Sea

Today was one of those great days at sea, where one does nothing but relax, unwind, and vegetate. We all need at least one of those days, NO?

The seas were calm – one might think Mother Nature and Poseidon FINALLY came to an agreement regarding the weather. Perfect skies. Why is it when we are at sea the clouds feel as though we can reach out and grasp them? Almost, but not quite within our reach; teasing us as they drift slowly by.

We spent the entire day up on the pool deck shaded by the deck above us. The people watching is fantastic from here. The men who wander around with too little clothing on – and should be more covered – for a variety of reasons. Women of a certain age sporting a two piece who perhaps hadn’t thought their choices through thoroughly. No body shame, but perhaps rethinking the exposed skin choices – just a comment. Same for the men who think it’s appropriate at the age of seventy or so to wear a speedo. Now, speedos are fine, but if your gut covers your bathing suit perhaps you too should rethink your choices. Again, just an observation. I’m trying to be helpful, not hurtful. CLEARLY, these few – and it IS a few – have far more confidence than I. And, ya know what – more power to them. I’d be too embarrassed.

Since this evening we dine at La Reserve, we shall keep our food consumption to a minimum. Light salads were our lunch, and we did indulge in one of the MOST amazing Iced-coffee-cream=concoctions to ever be invented. SO GOOD.

Time to get dressed for dinner. We have showered, shaved and our masks are in place. Let’s get this dinner going!

We arrived and were greeted by name. Impressive. Immediately seated and a Kir Royale firmly placed in my hands. Yes, this is going to be nice. We were seated at a table with two other couples. Steve and Ann, from London; and a couple from Orange County – never introduced themselves to me – perhaps it was the hearing issues. Who knows? I said my name more than once, and they just smiled and nodded. Turns out she’s rapidly approaching a centenary birthday and robbed the cradle with a younger man of 93. BRAVISSIMI. Embrace life, I say. They were seated on the other side of Christopher, so my conversation was with Ann & Steve.

Are you ready…This is what we had for dinner:

Bay Scallop Teriyaki Seared on Riverstone; Paired with Pommery Brut Rose Champagne, Reims, France.

Christopher had a piece of Chicken (presumably thigh meat) rather than the Scallops (can’t eat them). The scallop was cooked to perfection topped with a dollop of Teriyaki sauce. A few bites and paired perfectly with the Champagne.

Escalope of Rougie perigord Foie Gras Sauteed with Pineapple and Hibiscus Flowers; paired with Chateau de la Roulerie Coteaux du Layon Loire Valley, France 2020.

Delightful. Ya know – I haven’t had enough Fois Gras this trip (haha) – more than I’ve had in the last ten years! The pineapple were precisely cut and a perfect foil for the fatty Fois Gras. The wine was a superb match.

Maine Lobster Cassoulet with Tarragon and Sea Urchin Bisque; paired with Mer Soleil Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands, CA 2017.

I did not have this since developing a Lobster & Crab allergy! Tragic, I know!! Christopher delighted in this preparation. I had Sea Bass. It was good.

Portobello Mushroom Risotto with Smoked Ricotta and Black Truffle; paired with Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato Bolgheri, Italy 2018.

We consider Il Bruciato our “house wine” for pastas etc. Inexpensive and quite good – we were surprised to see this on the menu. It is not expensive in the least and QUITE GOOD!! The pairing was wonderful, and the risotto cooked to perfection.

Wellington of Veal Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction and Harvest Vegetables; paired with Eberle Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles, CA 2017.

Wonderful pairing. The veal was tender and the wellington not soggy (always an issue for me) the wine paired nicely (not great, but very good).

Napoleon of Poached Williams Pear and Melted Brie de Meaux; paired with Domaine du Vieux Lazaret Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rhone, France 2016.

OMFG. Does that answer your question? There was no more perfect pairing on this menu. Spectacular, simply spectacular. The wine had a HINT of tannins and a beautifully languid finish. LOVED IT!

Floating Island Accompanied by Pralines and Roasted Pistachio Cream Prepared A la Minute; paired with Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui Pineto DOCG Piedmont, Italy 2018.

A sparkling sweet wine a lot of strawberry and rose on the nose – not something I would drink on a regular basis, but it DID pair nicely with the dessert.

Dinner lasted a full three hours. We savored each and every bite, every sip of champagne and wine.


11th April 2022

Sounds Fabulous!
Your La Reserve dinner sounds AMAZING. How did you arrange for the special/substitute dishes? I am considering having dinner there, but also have some special requirements... I just attended a Williamson wine dinner at a new restaurant called Grist in Dayton. Yes, Dayton, Ohio! The young-ish couple that used to be the exec chefs at Spoonbar in Healdsburg opened a restaurant in downtown Dayton (she's originally from Dayton, and they need to be close to family to help with their young family since the restaurant biz is so demanding), and Sam Williamson (the heir) became friends with them in Healdsburg. So, Sam came out for three small wine dinners, and they were amazing. The chefs trained at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY, where they met, and they worked at some of the best restaurants in SF before going up to Spoonbar. Sam served us mostly Reserve and even one Library wines, and it was the best meal, by far, I've had since leaving California! And Sam is launching a single-seating food/wine experience at their Healdsburg culinary facility in May (they now have a 5 person culinary team). I'll definitely be going there when I'm in California next year!
12th April 2022

Food Issues
When we made the reservation, there was a section asking for any food allergies, etc. They were Most accommodating. Your experience sounds wonderful. Williamson has some very nice wines. We were never members, but they had some standout among their selection.

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